Chondrogenic Differentiation of Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Tips and Tricks

  • Luis A. SolchagaEmail author
  • Kitsie J. Penick
  • Jean F. Welter
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 698)


It is well known that adult cartilage lacks the ability to repair itself; this makes articular cartilage a very attractive target for tissue engineering. The majority of articular cartilage repair models attempt to deliver or recruit reparative cells to the site of injury. A number of efforts are directed to the characterization of progenitor cells and the understanding of the mechanisms involved in their chondrogenic differentiation. Our laboratory has focused on cartilage repair using mesenchymal stem cells and studied their differentiation into cartilage. Mesenchymal stem cells are attractive candidates for cartilage repair due to their osteogenic and chondrogenic potential, ease of harvest, and ease of expansion in culture. However, the need for chondrogenic differentiation is superposed on other technical issues associated with cartilage repair; this adds a level of complexity over using mature chondrocytes. This chapter will focus on the methods involved in the isolation and expansion of human mesenchymal stem cells, their differentiation along the chondrogenic lineage, and the qualitative and quantitative assessment of chondrogenic differentiation.

Key words

Mesenchymal stem cell Chondrogenesis Tissue culture Fibroblast growth factor-2 Transforming growth factor-beta Aggregate culture Cartilage 



This work was supported by grants from the Arthritis Foundation (PIs Jean F. Welter and Luis A. Solchaga), the Ohio Department of Development (PI Luis A. Solchaga), NIH; R01 AR050208 (PI Jean F. Welter) and P01 AR053622 (PIs Jean F. Welter and Luis A. Solchaga); and the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Core Facility of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (P30 CA43703; PI Stanton L. Gerson). The authors also want to thank Ms. Harris who processes the majority of the bone marrow specimens used in the laboratory.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luis A. Solchaga
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kitsie J. Penick
  • Jean F. Welter
  1. 1.Case Comprehensive Cancer CenterCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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